A thrifting queen who made more than a thousand dollars reselling toys in Canada is sharing her tips for the thrift-curious.
Ashlee Abella thrifts and makes social media content for TikTok and YouTube full-time in Winnipeg. “I’ve always been a fan of garage and yard sales and have been going to them since the ’90s,” Abella told Daily Hive.
“My mother would buy me toys and clothes, so shopping for used items has always been something I was accustomed to.”
In 2008, she started thrifting on her own and going every week. “Facebook was new and I saw people selling their used items online and that’s when I had the idea to shop at the thrift store and sell what I find online.”
She is a big lover of handbags and has lots of knowledge in that arena, so that’s where she started flipping. “Handbags have always been an easy sell for me as it is a one size fits all unlike clothes or shoes,” she said.
Recently, Abella turned a $112 investment in Polly Pocket toys into $1,100 by reselling them.
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“As a reseller, I watch a lot of YouTube videos and follow many content creators on TikTok and Instagram,” she said.
“I knew that vintage toys were valuable from the content I watch, whether it’s ’90s Pokémon cards or ’80s He-Man toy figurines. When I stumbled upon the Polly Pockets, I knew what the ’80s and ’90s ones looked like and did a quick google search,” she said.
Her other videos show everything from vintage finds and designer flips to calling out Salvation Army and Value Village for their prices.
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How to thrift better
“My tip for people who want to find treasures at the thrift store is to be patient,” said Abella.
“You’re most likely not going to find something on your first visit (or you might be lucky), but the more consistent you are going, the higher chances you are to find something.”
Abella says there are more thrifters and resellers today than even just a few years ago.
“The competition is fierce and cutthroat, but don’t let that deter you. Just go without any expectation, and just for the fun and experience, you’ll be supporting charities and keeping recycled items out of our landfill,” she said.
“Many people have this idea that thrift shops are for needy people only and give resellers flack for shipping there,” she said.
“This may have been the case five years ago, but thrifting has become a lifestyle for everyone. Most thrift stores have rebranded and now cater to all walks of life on every budget whether you are middle class, low income or a person in need, and there will always be enough room for everyone there,” she said.
Are you inspired to treasure hunt and turn toys into cash? You can follow Abella on TikTok @misfili for more tips.